Xiong’an New Area to Trial Use of Digital Renminbi for Cross-border Payments

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The Xiong’an New Area in Hebei Province has unveiled plans to explore the use of the digital renminbi (central bank digital currency or CBDC) for cross-border e-commerce payments.

The Hebei province government has just issued the “China (Xiong’an New Area) Cross-border E-commerce Comprehensive Trial Zone Development and Implementation Plan” (中国(雄安新区)跨境电子商务综合试验区建设实施方案).

The Plan calls for “encouraging the use of renminbi for the pricing and settlement of cross-border e-commerce activities,” as well as the “exploration of digital renminbi for cross-border payments.”

The establishment of a “financial services system” in Xiong’an is one of nine key missions outlined by the Plan, which calls for a financial services system which “provides online payments and settlement, online financing, online guarantees and other risk controls to cross-border e-commerce transactions.”

The Plan also calls for “supporting bold innovation by relevant qualified financial institutions, payments organisations and third-party cross-border e-commerce platforms.”

The Chinese central bank announced in April that Xiong’an New Area was one of four cities where the digital renminbi was being trialled, alongside Shenzhen, Suzhou and Chengdu.

In a speech de­liv­ered on 25 July at the 2020 In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fo­rum in Bei­jing Liu Jun (刘珺), pres­i­dent of the Bank of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said that  digi­ti­sa­tion of the ren­minbi will be a nec­es­sary part of ef­forts to in­ter­na­tion­alise the Chi­nese cur­rency in the dig­i­tal era. 

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